Ramblings about entertainment, lifestyle and travel
Adam Simon and Brannon Baga’s Salem is probably my favourite pilot to have been introduced this year. Salem, inspired by the 17th Century witch trials in Massachusetts, follows the lives of Salem’s inhabitants and the daily struggle living in a Puritan controlled society. Run by the town’s most powerful, from wealthy to religious, the people of Salem are in constant pursuit of witches in the town. This means that any day can come with an accusation of witchcraft – even if it’s a false one.
To give its audience a more rounded view, Salem not only introduces you to the town’s most influential people, but centres on the “real” witches plotting to succeed their Grand Rite – all behind closed doors. The show shows head witch, Mary Sibley (played by Janet Montgomery), struggling to come to terms with who she is now and who she used to be, including her former romance with John Alden (Shane West) that saw her unwed and pregnant as a girl in a puritan world. Having to deal with her feelings when he finally returns after having been to war for many years, Mary struggles with her pursuit of power and giving into her love for John – much to the dismay of her circle.
Each episode shows you that not one person is safe from trial, especially with the witches plotting to get the town’s Puritans to kill each other. You never quite know who’s next, but you also never quite know when Salem is finally going to figure out who’s instigated all of the false accusations. Mary and John continue to play a dangerous game of lust, despite the witches’ disapproval as well as Mary’s role as George’s wife. The arrival of Increase Mather, the town’s former reverend and Cotton Mather’s father, threw another spanner in the works, always threatening to derail the witches’ plans, while also increasing the torture scenes throughout the show.
Finally, the season finale is a solid final episode. However, I was a little disappointed there wasn’t a bit more intensity and action. I’d still highly recommend the show itself, but don’t expect too much from the finale. WGN America has already renewed Salem for Season 2, so there’ll be plenty more false accusations, deaths of innocent people and twisted plans. If you’re still a season behind, here’s the official trailer: